Your Website Sucks!

Make Your Website Suck Less!

I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I need to be honest with you about your website. IT SUCKS! I know you have spent hours, well at least 30 minutes, working on your website, and I know you are very proud of it but the reality is it sucks and well you have work to do. I know it can be hard to face facts like this, but the sooner you realize it the sooner you can do something about it.

The reality is all websites suck in some way, there is no PERFECT website! That is why you need to constantly be working on your website to improve it. Test how people use your website, test new layouts, create landing pages for specific keywords. Always keep working on your site and eventually, just maybe, your website will at least suck less than it did before.

Unfortunately this is not the way most people view their website. Most people view their website as a one off. They get it done and then they don’t look at it or update it until their customers start telling them that their site sucks. Then the most common thing that is done is not to actually start working on the website, but to give it a redesign and leave it alone all over again. Time to break the cycle. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your website everyday / week / month.

  • Write a Blog Post – It can be hard to write all the time. I know but adding new content will help keep people coming to your website and talking about you. Don’t have a blog, add one. Brochure websites are old and no one wants to see them anymore.
  • Create Videos – People like video and it gives you an opportunity to show off what you do and how you do it. It can be a little more time consuming than just a regular blog post but you can post it to YouTube and you might even gain a few more visitors.
  • Clean Up Links – Links break and going back through and fixing broken links on your website can help your visitors.
  • Get a Favicon / Icon – Not only can a favicon make your website stand out to visitors when they bookmark it a decent icon can really stand out on a mobile device. That means adding more than just the 16×16 or 32×32 pixels size images that a lot of favicon creators make. Not creative? Go and download one from Free Favicon.
  • Update Your CMS – I love using WordPress for creating websites and they are regularly updating the software to make more features available and to keep it secure. It does not matter if you use WordPress or some other CMS keep it updated! It might just make the difference between being hacked or not being hacked. Need a hand? I can help you.
  • Get Mobile – There is no excuse anymore, you need a mobile website and the longer you go without one the more visitors and customers you lose. There are multiple different ways to create a mobile website from updating your theme to using a mobile url.
  • Rewrite Old Posts – Things change, pretty quickly sometimes on the Internet. Taking a few minutes to rewrite an old post, especially if it is a popular post, can help keep the traffic coming. Don’t have a blog see the first point.
  • Check Your Analytics – Everyone wants access to their analytics, but how often do you check them? Go take a look find out what is popular on your site and what people are visiting / using. Not to mention look for a way to perhaps filter out all those stupid referral spammers that keep messing up your stats.
  • Speed Up Your Website – Over time your website gets slower and doing a check of what is causing your site to slow down once in awhile is good for everyone from the search engines to every visitor you get. This can easily become a regular task that you should do just to keeps things running at top speed.
  • Fix HTML Issues – It can get boring, but fixing those little HTML things that are overlooked like titles, meta tags, image alt attributes can all make a difference on your website.

There you go ten ways to make your website suck less. It does not take a rocket scientist to make your website suck less it just takes some time and dedication. Go and make your website suck less!

UPrinting Contest

up_logo_comSince I changed my operating name from LGR Computer Enterprises to LGR Internet Solutions I have been meaning to get some new business cards made up. Although I do not use them very often it is always nice to have some for that occasion when I have been talking with someone about a website and they ask for a business card. At some point I must have checked out a contest for free business cards being sponsored by UPrinting and left a comment in hopes of winning some. Well that comment has paid off, even though I did not win that contest UPrinting has offered to sponsor a contest here. You can win either free business card printing or a canvas print.

How to Enter
Leave a comment at the end of the blog post, describing what you would use the free business cards and/or canvas print for.

1000 free standard size business cards for one reader and 1 free 18×24 canvas print for one reader

You can choose from any of our stocks for these items.


  • Contest will run until March 31, 2009.
  • I will choose randomly the winners on March 31st, 2009 from the comments posted on this post.
  • Winners in the United States and Canada qualify for free shipping. Shipping fees will apply to winners outside these areas.

Thank you to for sponsoring this contest, I look forward to reading your comments and what you will use the business cards or canvas print for!

If you are wondering, I get some free business cards for hosting the contest as well. I will take some photos and post about them when I get them.

Update: Contest is not closed. Winners have been notified. Thanks for taking part everyone!

February Subscriber Bonus

Hard to believe it is February already. January just sailed by, hopefully spring will be here before we know it. For January the subscriber bonus was a chance to save 15% off of a one or two year subscription to MozyHome and a chance to win a free one year subscription to MozyHome. Congratulations to Jason who won the free one year MozyHome subscription. I sent him the money via PayPal today so he could sign up. If you missed out on January’s subscriber bonus be sure to enter February’s bonus drawing. You will need to subscribe to my RSS feed either with an RSS reader or by email.

February’s subscriber bonus is a chance to win a copy of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. I recently picked up a copy and have been enjoying reading it so I thought I would pass that on to the subscribers of my blog. I will give one copy away to ten lucky subcribers. There are more instructions on the subscriber bonus page on how to enter.

If you are already a subscriber the subscriber bonus URL and password is located at the bottom of the RSS feed or email. Just click through, enter the password and you will have access.

If you are not yet a subscriber you can click here to subscribe using an RSS reader or subscribe by email. Subscribe now to gain access to all of the subscriber bonuses through all of 2009!

Subscriber Bonuses

One of my goals for 2009 was to increase the number of RSS subscribers of my blog. To start to reach that goal for 2009 I have started offering bonuses to RSS subscribers. You can subscribe either by using an RSS reader, such as Google Reader, or by email and have the latest updates from the LGR Internet Solutons blog delivered right to your inbox.

Many bloggers create ebooks as a bonus, and I do have plans on creating an ebook for download at some point during the year. Until it is ready though I wanted to start offering subscribers bonuses that they can use right away. I am planning to have one new bonus a month for all of 2009 and they could be almost anything.

To kick things off here in January, I have two special offers to help you backup your computer. If you have been reading here for a little while you know I am a huge Mozy fan so it seems fitting that the first subscriber bonus is for Mozy. There is an exclusive Mozy online backup bonus and a chance for one lucky subscriber to win one free unlimited MozyHome account for a year.

Already a subscriber? The subscriber bonus URL and password is located at the bottom of the RSS feed or email. Just click through, enter the password and you will have access.

Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe using an RSS reader or subscribe by email. Subscribe now to gain access to all of the subscriber bonuses through all of 2009!

Social Proof – The Masses Can’t Be Wrong

Photo by Kevin BriodyWe all want our blogs to be a success, we toil day after day to create unique content, participate in social media to help drive traffic to our sites, and do our best to make the RSS feed subscription button easy to see and click. Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that helps people determine if their behaviour is appropriate. It is sometimes also know as the bandwagon effect. Little did you know that social proof might be playing a larger part in the success of your blog than you might realize.

Look at your blog, what forms of social proof do you use to show people that they should continue to visit and subscribe to your blog? One of the most noticeable items of social proof is the feed count. We love to display the number of loyal readers that we have reading our blog. Here at Epiblogger we choose not to display our feed count, but as of this writing our feed count sits at 86 subscribers. It has gone as high as 96. Displaying your feed count is a form of social proof. The theory goes if you have 20,000 subscribers certainly your blog must be worth reading and people are more likely to subscribe to your blog. The reverse is also true, if you only have 10 readers why would people bother to subscribe to your blog. There are many people that will argue that they don’t subscribe to blogs if they don’t like the content, but once you have a decent RSS subscriber count it can be worthwhile to display the number. It can lead to more subscribers on a regular basis.

Another form of social proof on a blog is the comments. Blogs that get more comments appear more lively and are more interesting to other readers. It encourages new readers to take part and creates more of a sense of community. As of writing this post Epiblogger has 97 posts and 382 comments. that is a comment to post ratio of 3.94 comments per post. Find ways to highlight your comments. Those conversations and activity help people to feel they have a place on your blog and can help draw people into your blog. Trackbacks and pingbacks are also an important part of the comments. It shows people what kind of conversations have been going on around the web because of your post.

MyBlogLog and BlogCatelog widgets and others like them are great social proof widgets on blogs. They should you the faces and sometimes the names of the people that have visited your blog. they also provide a way for people to join your blog community on those websites where people can see even more social proof of how popular your blog is. I think it is great that Epiblogger has 30 members at MyBlogLog. If that helps people to find us and keeps people reading then great.

Social media can provide another form of social proof on your blog. If you are active on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg or another social media community let people know on your blog. If you have hundreds of followers and take part in the communities it can help boost your blog profile. Many people don’t subscribe to RSS feeds but will follow you on the social media websites you participate in and come back again and again to read your posts.

What other forms of social proof do you use and see on blogs that help to draw people to be regular readers and visitors to your blog?

Photo by Kevin Briody

Blogger Cards are Here

Blogger CardI talked about the free blogger cards that ooprint was offering in May and thought I would give an update that the cards I had ordered showed up in the mail today. They are not bad, the paper stock is a standard business card paper stock and they look pretty sharp. Overall they are nice but there are a couple cards that were damaged in shipping. Not badly, but enough that I might not hand them out. It probably had to do with the fact that the envelope they were mailed in was large enough that they could move around and the corners caught on the envelope and bent. I took the few bent ones out and gave them to my son to look at. Three cards out of 100 is not bad I suppose, but it is something that they could easily stop from happening by using a better packaging. If you are looking for some business cards to help promote your blog you might want to take a look at the ooprint offer. I will use the 100 97 I have left to help promote Epiblogger, and I will think abut ordering some more for myself later on in the summer.

Free Blogger Cards

I am cheap, I fully admit that I don’t like to spend money if I don’t have too. Some people might call it frugal, but I like to call things what they really are, in this case I am cheap. Being cheap means that I am always on the lookout for a good deal and occasionally I find one. If you are looking for some nice looking business cards to help promote your blog in the offline world take a look at this offer by ooprint. You can get 100 free blogger business cards for free! See I told you I was cheap.

They offer several pages of free designs for you to start with. The designs might not be stunning but there are is probably one there that will appeal to most people. You can edit the text and font sizes and colours of the card but I could not find a way to change the placement of the text. I edited some of the fields, since people that work online don’t always have a phone or fax, so I added my MSN and Skype addresses instead of the traditional phone and fax.

Of course the free cards are a hook to get you to buy more cards and to get the opportunity to up sell you to more options. Things like adding your own custom logo, removing the ooprint logo from the back of the card will cost you a little more, getting thicker paper will cost you. There is also the pitch of selling you options such as a business card case and and carrying case. If you can resist the up sell the cards will not cost you very much, only the cost of shipping, which to me in Canada was only $5.90. It would be nice if they had the option to accept PayPal for payment, but they do take Visa and Mastercard.

There are a lot of online printing companies that offer free business cards but this is the first company that I have come across that has targeted bloggers specifically with free business cards. While business cards might not be essential for bloggers they could come in handy, especially if you are just starting out or if your blog is your hobby and you would just like some cards occasionally to hand out. Eventually I will order some Epiblogger business cards, but until I get around to doing that I will enjoy my free cards from ooprint.

Blog Marketing off the Internet

Epiblogger mugThere are many ways to market your blog, both on and off the Internet. I think as bloggers we don’t use some of the more traditional marketing methods. Perhaps it is a case of not having any money to create t-shirts or order promotional items or maybe we just don’t think about it.

I was recently in Calgary and we went to the Aggie Days at the Stampede grounds. It was a lot of fun for the kids. There were lots of animals for the kids to pet and things to look at and play on. There was also a whole section of exhibits that were there promoting their various wares. Everything from the ultimate mouse trap to a corn maze that is built every year. The great part of the exhibits were of course the many promotional items the kids were able to pick up. There was a buffalo stress ball, bumper stickers, taste testing of sausage, pens and all kinds of promotional items.

If you can find some money to create and buy some promotional items here are a few ideas you can try.

  • Pens – Every one always needs a pen. Pens as promotional items are a classic. But how do you get them out if you are not showing at a conference or tossing them out in a parade or some other large gathering? You can try talking to a few local businesses and ask if it would be alright to leave some there for people to take. You can always have a supply with you and just leave one behind where ever you go like the bank, coffee shop and restaurant. People always pick up pens and before you know it you will have handed out your supply.
  • Clothing – Become your own billboard. This one does not take a lot of money really. You can create one or two t-shirts, hats, hoodies etc and wear them. Why should you be a billboard for Nike or some other large multinational corporation when you can be a walking billboard for yourself. If you can make a few up give them away as presents to your friends and family.
  • Mugs – People use mugs everyday, why not have your logo on it. This might not have the reach of a t-shirt but people will notice a shiny new mug and a great logo. Most photo finishing stores do photo mugs, travel mugs, and all kinds of interesting items. You don’t need to place an order of 100 to get a custom job done. The place I ordered the Epiblogger mugs from also make water bottles, puzzles and mouse pads.
  • Key Chains – Key chains are a lot like pens, everyone needs one. you could pass them out the same way as passing out pens, just leave one behind everywhere you go.
  • Magnets – I like getting fridge magnets, these could be harder to pass out than pens or key chains, but you could take a supply with you on a walk and simply stick them to lamp posts and mail boxes as you walk. Don’t know how many people would pick them up and you would need a type that could survive the elements a little. Another idea would be to canvas a parking lot and place them on cars. Then people would take them home and put them on their fridge.

I’ll admit the mug in the photo was not meant as a promotional item, but as a nice thing for Rhett and I to have, but there is a place for promoting your blog offline as well as online. These traditional promotional marketing items are good because they work. People need them and use them. Think about how many times you have walked away from somewhere with their pen in your hand. You might have that pen for years and every time you use it you are reminded of that business.

What types of promotion methods can you think of that you could use to help promote your blog off of the Internet?

Epiblogger Valentines Giveaway!

Rose. Found at: Valentines! It has been a really great month and a half since we opened the doors here at Epiblogger and we wanted to celebrate a little with our first giveaway. We thought we could give away our first month and a half of income to one lucky reader, but then you would end up owing us money!

Then we thought it might be nice to hold an Entrecard credit giveaway. We have been pleased with the number of visitors that come on a regular basis from Entrecard and have gotten to know a few of them through comments and visiting their blogs. We have just over 1000 Entrecard credits in our account so for this contest we will give away 1000 Entrecard credits that you can use to advertise on other blogs, purchase graphic design or browse the shop and see if there is anything you might like.

How to Enter
To enter our great Valentines contest is pretty simple. There are three ways and you can enter as many times as you like. Only comments and trackbacks that are dated February 14 will qualify for the contest. Epiblogger is on Central Standard Time so plan the time of your post so it arrives here on the 14th.

  1. 1 Entry – Take part in the conversation and leave a comment on a post, any post. All comments made on February 14, 2008 will get you one entry into the contest. Please make it more than “Great post”, “Nice post” or we might miss it.
  2. 5 Entries – Write a post and create a trackback to Epiblogger. Take the conversation back to your blog and link back to us. Each trackback gets you 5 entries in the contest. Trackbacks to Thoughts posts are exempt, see the next way to enter.
  3. 10 Entries – Want a lot of entries into the contest? Write a new post from an idea from a post in our Take a Thought category. There are lots of great ideas in there to get you writing. Just create a trackback to the Epiblogger Thoughts post that you got the idea from.

The winner will be chosen at random from all entries received on the 14th of February and the winner will be posted here on Epiblogger after they have been contacted and the credits transferred. You will need to be a member of Entrecard to take part so if you are not a member yet go and take and look and sign up.

Happy Valentines and Good Luck!